New experience for Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt
Shooting began today in Brussels on Odette Toulemonde, the first feature from France’s Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, and will take place for nine weeks in Belgium and France. Well known in France where he made his debut in 1990 as a playwright, Schmitt has since then written several plays, novels and essays and has been very successful with audiences and critics alike. His career has now reached the international stage and after writing two screenplays (Le Libertin, directed by Gabriel Aghion, and Monsieur Ibrahim [+see also:
film profile], directed by François Duperon), this first film is a new experience for the literary and theatrical genius.
French actress Catherine Frot (La Dilettante, Chaos, Me and My Sister) stars as Odette Toulemonde, who welcomes a famous French writer (Albert Dupontel) in the throes of crisis to her “plat pays”. In her modest life as a supermarket cashier, she tries to bring him the happiness she finds through reading his novels.
These two actors, who specialise in comical and tender roles, are accompanied by young Belgian theatre actor Nicolas Buysse and France’s Jacques Weber. Behind the camera is DoP Carlo Varini, who worked on the Big Blue and the more recent The Chorus [+see also:
The film is being produced by Anne-Dominique Toussaint with Belgian outfit Les Films de l'Etang, and executive produced by Climax Films. The French co-producers are Pathé Renn, TF1 Films Production and Bel Ombre.
The film is also funded by Wallimage, along with a pre-sales agreement from Canal + and €150,000 in funding from the Communauté Française de Belgique. Odette Toutlemonde will be distributed in France by Pathé Distribution and in Belgium by Alternative Films. While the film does not yet seem to have found a sales agent, the financial backing already in place is an impressive budget for a first film.
(Translated from French)
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